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UK Athletics

Bedford International Preview

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29 May 2008




The Bedford Athletics stadium will host the hugely popular and successful Bedford International Games this Sunday. The high standard, early season competition will play an instrumental role for many athletes preparing for the European Cup, World Juniors, Olympic and Paralympic Games and continuing their UK Challenge campaign.



Among the list of entrants are:


Former Commonwealth and European medallist Jade Johnson (Herne Hill Harriers) will compete in the 100m, 200m and long jump in a bid to continue her successful summer campaign; she reached a wind-assisted 6.45m (+3.0m/s) in the long jump at the Inter-Counties Championships at the same venue last weekend.


Former Commonwealth, European Champion and UK record holder since 1997 Iwan Thomas (Newham and Essex Beagles) makes a return to the track featuring in the men’s 400m along side an impressive line up, including GB junior Jordan McGrath (Birchfield Harriers).


McGrath, recently chosen to take part in UK Athletics Heroes project, ran extremely well in the 400m match at Loughborough achieving the World Junior Championships qualifying mark, shaving almost half a second off his personal best and finishing second to GB senior Martyn Rooney with his 46.54 effort.


Perri Shakes-Drayton (Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets) will start as fastest competitor in the women’s 400m hurdles, against a very competitive start list including Meghan Beesley (Birchfield Harriers) and Danish national record-holder Sara S Petersen.


Emeka Udechuku (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies) continues the defence of his UK Challenge discus and shot put titles. Udechuku, who is currently top of the UKA Power of Ten rankings for discus, finished first in the discus and fourth in the shot in Loughborough, the first competition on this year’s UK Challenge event calendar.


Again Bedford will play host to three races which are one of a series of qualifying events identified for selection for the Paralympic team.


Multiple Paralympic medallist Tracey Hinton (Cardiff AAC), the first British female athlete to compete at the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing last weekend, will be amongst a host of Britain's top disabled athletes competing in Bedford.


Chorley AC sprinters Graeme Ballard and Michael Churm plus Ian Jones (East Cheshire) and Paralympic Gold medallist Hazel Simpson (Jarrow & Hepburn) began their seasons strongly with a number of international appearances, they will be looking to record fast times at the high quality event this weekend.




Full entry list can be viewed at: BIG Bedford 2008


Please direct enquires to: Carol Jackson